Galerius Vaierius Maximianus
Galerius Vaierius Maximianus, Roman emperor, son of a shepherd, was born near Sardica, is Dacia, entered the imperial army, and served in the wars of Aurelius and Probus. Dioclesian (A.D. 292) conferred on him, along with Constantius Chlorus, the title of Caesar; and gave him his daughter Valeria to wife. On the abdication of Dioclesian (A.D. 305), he and Constantius became augusti,
or joint rulers of the Roman empire. On the death of Constantius at York (A.D. 306), the troops in Britain and Gaul immediately declared their allegiance to his son, Constantine (afterwards Constantine the Great), much to the chagrin of Galerius, who expected the entire sovereignty of Rome to fall into his hands. He died A.D. 311. Galerius hated the Christians bitterly, and is believed to have been the real author of Dioclesian's persecutions. SEE DIOCLESIAN. "Brought to reflection by a terrible disease, he put an end to the slaughter shortly before his death by a remarkable edict of toleration, which he issued from Nicomedia in 311, in connection with Consstantine and Licinius. In that document he declared that the purpose of reclaiming the Christians from their willful innovation and the multitude of their sects to the laws and discipline of the Roman state was not accomplished, and that he would now grant them permission to hold their religious assemblies, provided they disturbed not the order of the state. To this he added, in conclusion, the remarkable instruction that the Christians, 'after this manifestation of grace, should pray to their God for the welfare of the emperors, of the state, and of themselves, that the state might prosper in every respect, and that they might live quietly in their homes.' This edict brought the period of persecution in the Roman empire to a close." — Schaff, History of the Christian Church, volume 1, § 57.